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Local woman convicted in FBI agent’s death asks for release after contracting COVID-19

ALLEGHENY CO., Pa. — A western Pennsylvania woman convicted in the shooting death of an FBI agent during a pre-dawn drug raid at her home in 2008 is seeking release from prison, citing the coronavirus.

Channel 11 News’ exchange partners at TribLIVE reports that Christina Korbe, who is serving a 15-year, 10-month sentence in a federal prison in Connecticut, is currently scheduled for release in May 2022.

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Korbe pleaded guilty in 2011 to voluntary manslaughter and a firearms charge in the death of Special Agent Samuel Hicks, who was the first agent through the front door of the Indiana Township home in November 2008. Prosecutors dropped charges of murder of a federal officer, drug-trafficking conspiracy and weapons counts.

Hicks and other law enforcement officers were trying to arrest Korbe’s husband on drug charges. A shot fired from the second floor down the dark stairwell struck the agent and entered his chest despite his bulletproof vest. Korbe said she thought someone was breaking into their home, and she fired in self-protection.

Attorneys for Korbe, who has sought a reduced sentence several times, filed a release request Thursday saying she contracted COVID-19 in March. Defense attorney W. Theodore Koch III is seeking compassionate release, saying she is still recovering and there is “no guarantee that a person develops full immunity after recovery.”

Koch said his client “clearly is not a danger to the community” and cites her work behind bars monitoring potentially suicidal inmates, working as a hospice volunteer and taking classes. The release request also notes that she will be eligible for release to a halfway house in less than a year.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office declined comment on Korbe’s request.

Information from The Associated Press and TribLIVE was used in this story.